Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Non-stop honking, jumping lanes and signals, indulging in insults, overtaking from the left, blinding headlights... Rude Bangaloreans seem to have their way. No wonder the PM expressed his rage at our signal lack of traffic manners.

The TImes of India

Riding on Bangalore’s roads is not easy. You negotiate not just unpredictable autorickshaws, overwhelming buses and speeding cars, but also whimsical two-wheelers. Zipping at life-threatening speeds, not for a moment will they give you an inkling from which side they will overtake you.

High-speed two-wheeler riding, particularly bike-riding accounts for a very high rate of fatalities on Bangalore’s roads. Two-wheelers zip past vehicles instilling fear in motorists’ minds. They not only threaten other riders but also put pedestrians at great risk.

Why is two-wheeler riding so aggressive in Bangalore? Bangalore’s youths have a distinct fad for bikes and speed. College-goers particularly love powered bikes to exhibit the nonchalant, macho feel. “We love to ride bikes hard and fast to feel their power. The power is what gives you the kick,” says Raghu, a college student.

Then there are work pressures. There’s pressure on both the young and middle-aged to reach office in time and later, reach home early. “There’s enormous pressure to deliver results on time. Naturally, it creates urgency in your travel. Getting back too late is also a problem. You have to be up and ready next morning. So we ride in a hurry back home,” says Rajan, a techie.

Sales and marketing professionals are particularly under pressure to reach offices in time. “Our only job is to ride and reach. We have to get to clients at the time they fix. There’s naturally pressure on riding,” says Balaji, a medical representative.

And there are also the courier and pizza delivery boys, always in a hurry, who just whizz past you.

The most visible form of highspeed riding on the roads is at the traffic signal: people do not wait for signals to turn green to start off or for the traffic waiting time to turn zero.

On an average, two wheelers and motorists take off five to eight seconds earlier than is the norm on Bangalore roads.


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